Mobile TV Sets and chasing

John Diel

Mar 25, 2004
North Central Oklahoma
I'm a little curious. I'm considering an "In Dash TV System" and wondering if it's worth it to spend the bucks. I've seen where several of you have a TV Set in the vehicle and others are using laptops w/ tuners and even a couple of satellite systems.

How much does this help out? What kind of reception can I expect out in the boonies (Not that I expect anything)? I saw the thread on the WinTv system and did some research on it. It looks like it would work and may be a viable solution. However, I also like the idea of a system that has it all built in and fits in the area of a standard Car Stereo (minus screen). The one I'm looking at will also play DVD, etc. and do it through the vehicle speakers already in place.

I would also like to know, of those that have the TV's, do you use an external antenna? How much does this help or hinder?

Thanks in advance!


I find that its probably not worth the money to get an in-dash TV. I've used a portable 13" TV for quite a while and its served me just fine. The reception you get is probably gonna vary based on the antenna plus your location to a tower, but I'm not sure you're gonna find much benefit with in-dash vs. external except maybe space. My 13" sat on the floor and I used the top of it as a shelf to mount other equipment on. It's worked just fine. This season, I may bail on the TV and use a TV tuner in the laptop. Either way, an in-dash TV isn't something I'd spend too much money on.

Trust me, I wasted my money on one of those in-dash TV's. It makes your car more likely for burglary, if you shall choose to get one, get one with a detachable faceplate.
Trust me, I wasted my money on one of those in-dash TV's. It makes your car more likely for burglary, if you shall choose to get one, get one with a detachable faceplate.

As opposed to the other $5-10k worth of electronics many of us keep in our vehicles right? :lol:

I find having a TV has it's usefulness. We carry a DirecTV sat dish and receiver as well and a couple of time last year we were in our target area a couple of hours before convection and was able to set up and watch a little TV while we waited in the hot sun in the middle of BFE.

On the local stuff, really depends on the area your chasing. Through TV we were able to "chase" two storms simultaniously last year while south of OKC, the storm we were on visually, and the storm coming in to OKC via NEWS9's continous coverage. That was pretty cool, seeing what our storm was doing, and seeing what the north storm was doing at the same time.

In some markets on the southern plains, they go wall to wall coverage during severe events so it can be a good resource for some "live" radar if your within range of reception.

I agree though, get a small portable tv, or tv tuner for you computer unless your find a good deal on one of those drop down screens.
Thanks for the quick answers!

I'm actually looking at a system that replaces the stock stereo. The only thing missing that I can tell is the screen itself. I can pick up a cheapie LCD screen for about $75 if I look hard enough. The stereo replacement run about $50 to $60

Here's what I'm looking at:

I'm still not totally convinced this is the way to go though. I may just go with WinTV for the fast and easy solution. However, I do like the idea of being able to watch a DVD or something along those lines while waiting on a storm to kick up it's heels.

I don't know what kind of coverage I'll get up in Northern Oklahoma or Southern Kansas though. On a good day, we can get one or two stations out of OKC and another one or two out of Wichita. If I'm on a high spot I can get one out of Tulsa. However, that was with an amplified antenna on a 30 foot mast.

Regarless of which way I go on the viewing side, what kind of antenna would you recommend?

I am currently looking for an outside mounted antenna. I use a b/w 5"portable (b/w doesn't require as much signal strength as a color)
Previously I've used rabbit ears with the adjustable knob . The rabbit ears set in the back but in reach to adjust the dial as needed.

Having a tv comes in handy for radar from local stations when in range.It was a major help during 5-22 in Neb. and 5-29 as I came back to Tulsa from Kansas
If you have room to mount it, get yourself one of these:

We have these on both chase vehicles. They are amplified and in decently flat terrain we can get a signal out to about 40 miles!

Jay McCoy has a set on his vehicle that work well, but the name of them escapes me right now.

Doing a search , these are discontinued .Better not wait if thinking about one of these
Doing a search , these are discontinued .Better not wait if thinking about one of these

I wonder if they are discontinued from that supplier or the manufacturer. I noticed the manufacturer's website is undergoing a rebuild. I emailed them about some parts for the antenna but never got a response. (Large hail broke the cover). I have been watching some similar types of antennas on ebay that are different brands for marine use that would work ok too.
I've seen similar ones for Marine Applications (TV on the water) going on E-Bay. Same shape though a little larger in appearance. If I find them again, I'll post one up.
Nice.... I am really going to have to look into one of these soon. That and a WinTv unit. First things first though. I need to get some wiring done on the truck. My "hack" job just isn't going to cut it and I have no desire to sit down to the tune of a big blue spark. So this weekend, I'll be buried in wires, combing, switches and breakers. TV and Antenna come later I guess.